A Summer Storm

Karen Read Coley | Watercolour on Gessoed Board | 3.5 x 4.5 inches

“I was originally inspired to paint by the work of my Victorian ancestor, Violet M. Read, who painted at the turn of the 20th Century in the school of Stannard. My first paintings were, therefore, traditional pure watercolour – see a few examples below.

 Now, however, I prefer paintings with a slightly abstract approach and a darker, heavier feel.

Though all the paintings are based on real places, it is more the memory of the place. I do not want to paint a literal view. Many are inspired by the night-time or dusk when everything seems mysterious, especially under the dream-like quality of a full moon.

I use water-based media and the paintings are built up in layers – lifting off and laying down marks, using whatever methods I need to create the look I am after. I paint intuitively until the picture looks right.

As I get older I have started to realise how greatly influenced I am by a childhood spent in the woods and fields. I can vividly recall many occasions going out after dark along the edge of eerie woods and across vast open stubble fields. Or entering the darkness of the wood from the heat of a summer’s day. The paintings are, I feel, an attempt to recapture those elusive scenes from times of long ago.

I experiment a great deal and am self-taught – a deliberate decision as I prefer to discover my own way of doing things.” Karen


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